Hi guys, so for most of us who love their food, diets seem like a horrible idea and are almost impossible to incorporate in our day-to-day life. I personally adore my food and I have never in my life been able to stick to any form of diet.
The thing is, whenever i attempted dieting, i was always thinking about food and what yummy treats i was missing out on. Like walking past the bakery, going out for dinner or even just sitting at home knowing there were nice things to eat in the cupboard.
Willpower is a real issue for me. I found i was obsessing over the foods i couldn’t have, and basically never feeling satisfied with the food i was having. It really took the enjoyment out of it. Most food tastes a bit boring when there are no sugar or fat included. So diets are pretty boring in general.
I moved to France when i was pregnant 2 years ago with my French man who i met in New Zealand. I used to be very picky with food and really not adventurous at all. In fact i disliked most vegetables and any seafood, the list goes on but i won’t bore you with that. Anyway, he was always trying to get me to eat new things as i wouldn’t even try half the things on the menu.
I loved carbs, as most do and had (still do, by the way) a massive sweet tooth. When i was pregnant i was able to run wild with that of course. What better excuse to indulge? Eating for 2! So i wasn’t worried at the time about my weight, but i subconsciously knew i would have to lose it after my baby was born. So little Tara came along at Christmas. She was all that mattered and it wasn’t until about 6 months later i realised the baby weight hadn’t miraculously fell off.
I had quite a big belly and it was a combination of baby belly fat and the muscles associated with that, but mainly just abdominal fat from over-eating. I knew i needed to do something in the line of a dreaded diet. No one prepared me for the amount of food people consume in France! And i had been transformed into loving all foods by trying all the amazing French cuisine. My eyes were opened to food in a way that i never imagined. I was eating everything and loving it.
Breakfast normally consists of a croissant or something sweet like pain au chocolate. So thats not a big meal but lunch is 3 or 4 courses. An entree, main meal (like what i would normally have for dinner!), then cheese and dessert. Food is really celebrated here in France and i was in love!!
Then comes dinner, and its the same thing all over again. Not to mention the wine. Wine washes it all down and even an aperitif before, and a lil something to help you digest. Wowser, that is a lot of calories, eh? Oh and i forgot to mention the “Gouter” which is cake and biscuits with tea in the afternoon between lunch and dinner. So needless to say it wasn’t just baby weight to blame and to be honest i should have been even bigger!
I have to say it was hard to get away from, as it its customary and culture here to sit around the table for lunch and dinner as a tradition and unheard of to just grab a sandwich. They worship the food and understandably so, as it is the best food in the world. They have even got a Unesco award to prove it. So its hard to say no!
However, my partner went back to work as he opened up a restaurant and i started getting back to making my own light lunches and salads. I did lose some weight but really not that much. I knew i needed to incorporate exercise aswell. It was just hard to keep motivated and get the time.
So i was exercising sporadically 3 times a week, sometimes only once a week and getting back into old habits of eating carbs and sugar for proper fulfilment. The weight crept back and i was at square one again. This time i decided to go for a low carb diet. It was hard to maintain but i kept it up for a month or so. I didn’t lose any weight so went back to those yummy carbs. Well whats the point if you don’t lose weight from it eh? But it did help me to be more conscious of, and reduce my carb intake which I’m glad of and much healthier for. You need carbs in your diet. End of story.
Thats when i decided to do the real research. I asked around on various forums for advice, especially from people who had tried lots of diets and had experience with what works and what doesn’t. I would say the vast majority of successful dieters relied on the 5:2 diet. Most said it was the only one that worked and helped them maintain a certain weight or continue to lose weight. I started my quest to find as much info as possible. Im a Googlaholic (my new word) so i googled everything i could find. I was very sceptical and believed you should always eat when hungry. Wrong!
I wanted as much proof i could find as i didn’t want to embark on some fad diet for no reason cos diets are hard, you know?!! I had been advised to watch the documentary on the creator of the 5:2 and the science backed facts behind it. Well i was shocked and amazed to find that after lots of research, it turns out there are tonnes of health benefits involved, such as improving your lifespan, eliminating certain cancers and life threatening diseases associated with ageing and diabetes etc.
So that was me sold. A diet that can make you thin and lengthen your life while improving your quality of life. Sign me up! Now I’m not selling anything or advertising here, trust me. Watch the documentary by Michael Mosely and you will be compelled to try it. I certainly was.
Here’s how it works. Now i was still sceptical as i am a food fanatic BUT you are allowed to treat yourself and eat normally 5 days of the week so keep that in mind.
Its called Intermittent Fasting. You basically have to stick to only 500 calories on 2 days of the week, not in a row but its better to schedule the same days each week, i find. In order to remember for a start! This may sound awful and you think your body will be starving but in actual fact, once you get over the initial hunger pangs it wears off! I kid you not, and this is because your body isn’t used to not eating when hungry. So the 1st day is hard but there are some lovely recipes which i will add and keep adding to as we go along that make it easier.
I was so surprised that i managed it due to my past dieting disasters. And its totally maintainable. You may be thinking its bad for your body and it’ll go into starvation mode and metabolism will drop but the science proves its actually very good for the body. Our ancestors didn’t eat nearly as much as we do nowadays and they did an experiment on the body and starvation mode which concluded that its a hoax! Your body only goes into so-called starvation mode when you have gone without food for weeks. A calorie deficit can only make you lose weight. Bottom line.
There are lots of forums online answering every question under the sun about this diet and it does have loads of health benefits. Its a lifestyle choice for me and not just a diet. You can continue it on until you arrive at your perfect weight, then maintain it by dropping to only 1 fast day a week. All the while helping your body produce hormones to keep it in great shape and lengthening your lifespan.
There were a lot of questions around whether people tend to gorge on food the next day to make up for the fasting but in most cases this didn’t happen. Your body adapts and you begin to really appreciate your food. Your not as likely to be stuffing yourself because your body has adapted to willpower over the food. Yippee!! However, there are guidelines to how many calories you are supposed to have in the following days. You can’t expect to eat cakes and takeaway all day and still lose the weight. But you are able to indulge. Within reason. There is an online check to find out your BMI, BMR and TDEE which tells you the average calories you should consume depending on your weight, height and activity level. Do check it out. Its important.
The best part of this diet is that its surprisingly easy when you get into it. And you love your food so much more. Aswell as becoming healthier.
Now if thats not motivation, what is? Most diets are only supposed to be used for a specific timeframe, which makes you wonder. Does the weight creep back on? Anyway, I started this diet a month ago and i feel fantastic. I have lost weight already and i haven’t even been exercising apart from walking and some light cardio here and there. Im excited to see how it will work for me.
That is why i thought i should share my journey with you guys and maybe some will join me? If so, please comment in the box provided and subscribe for updates. I’ll be doing a diary of my weightless and writing up meal ideas for fast days. I love that you can eat normally and not have to worry much on non-fast days. It really takes the boredom out of dieting. I’ll follow up with photos along the way and keep you posted with more info.
Do consult your Doctor if you plan on starting this diet. Same as any diet, it may not be suitable for some people. Do not do this diet if you are pregnant.
Look forward to hearing from you and good luck xxx